Image thanks to Christina Richert
article re-posted from child safety 101 "theexaminer.com"
Hopefully, if you are the parent of a young child or teen, you have heard of this game before. If you haven't, you need to familiarize yourself with it and be prepared to talk to your child about its dangers. Because most kids have heard of it, and many are playing it, sometimes with deadly consequences.
The Choking Game is also known by the names "Black Out" or "Pass Out", is defined by the CDC as "self-strangulation or stangulation by another person with the hands or a noose to achieve a brief euphoric state caused by cerebral hypoxia." Translation? Kids, primarily between 9 and 16 years old, are attempting to get a quick high by cutting off the oxygen to their brain for short periods of time.
The danger is that when a person's brain is deprived of oxygen for even short periods of time, brain damage or death can result. Kids, who often play this game in groups, may never have witnessed any adverse effects, and therefore think the game is safe. But its not. According to the Games Children Shouldn't Play (GASP) website, between 250 and 1,000 kids die playing this game each year.
In What is the Choking Game, we examined this scary, potentially deadly game that is "played" by thousands of kids every year. Awareness is great, but parents also need to know what they can do to prevent their child from falling victim to this trend, and what signs to look for that may indicate that their child is already participating.
Choking Game Prevention
The most important thing parents can do is talk to their kids about this game and it's dangers. Many parents may be hesitant to do so, fearing that if they bring up the subject, they may be giving kids the "idea" to engage in this practice. However, according to the Games Adolescents Shouldn't Play (GASP) website, most kids already know about the game anyway. What they don't know is how deadly it can be. The GASP website has educational materials you can use to talk to kids about this dangerous activity.
Choking Game Warning Signs
The GASP website lists some of the common warning signs that a child may be engaging in The Choking Game:
- Any suspicious mark on the side of the neck, sometimes hidden by a turtleneck, scarf or permanently turned-up collar.
- Changes in personality, such as overtly aggressive or agitated.
- Any kind of strap, rope or belt lying around near the child for no clear reason—and attempts to elude questions about such objects.
- Headaches (sometimes excruciatingly bad ones), loss of concentration, flushed face.
- Bloodshot eyes or any other noticeable signs of eye stress.
- A thud in the bedroom or against a wall—meaning a fall in cases of solitary practice.
- Any questions about the effects, sensations or dangers of strangulation.
Please take the time to view this short video about The Choking Game.
Thank you to Susan Carney Child Safety Examiner on the website examiner.com for this article to help us make parents more aware of this dangerous youth risk behavior, the team at Ed4Ed and Gasp want everyone to be more aware and look for all the signs. A complete injury prevention program for any parent or educator is located on our blog at Ed4Ed4All.blogspot.com please visit and educate yourself. You might just save a life that you love.